EVERETT, Wash. — The Buffalo Bandits aren’t dead yet in the National Lacrosse League playoff race.
The Bandits kept their hopes alive with a 15-10 victory over the Washington Stealth Saturday night. The victory means their postseason hopes won’t be fully determined until next week. It also snapped a six-game losing streak.
Buffalo (6-9) broke a 3-3 tie after 15 minutes by outscoring the Stealth, 4-1, in the second period. The Bandits saw the margin cut to one goal after three quarters, but then pulled away with eight goals in the final period to win comfortably.
Bandits goalie Kurtis Wagar made 33 saves in his first start of the season. He had plenty of offensive help. Aaron Wilson finished with four goals and two assists in one of his best games as a Bandit. Mark Steenhuis, recently moved to offense, had two goals and five assists, while Kevin Brownell added two goals and three assists.
Rochester won its game on Saturday night, beating Calgary to improve to 7-7. If the Knighthawks lose in Edmonton today, Buffalo would gain a playoff spot by beating Rochester next week in the First Niagara Center. In fact, the Bandits would finish second in the East if Philadelphia loses to Washington to create a three-way tie at 7-9.
However, a Rochester win today would reduce Buffalo’s hopes to one possible combination. The Bandits would have to beat the Knighthawks next week, while Colorado loses to Minnesota. That would give Buffalo a one-game edge over the Mammoth and put them in the playoffs.